Laura Gibson

Laura Gibson

Laura Gibson is an internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, born and raised in the small Oregon logging town of Coquille. Her last album, Empire Builder, was praised by Pitchfork as "a cathartic tale of loss and redemption", and was called “a triumph” by Uncut Magazine. Both literary and raw, with a love of traditional folk music and a bent toward experimentation, she has toured four continents, and had the distinct honor of performing the very first NPR Tiny Desk Concert. She recently completed an MFA in fiction writing from Hunter College, and her sharpened language and story telling abilities are on full display on Goners, a new record to be released by Barsuk and City Slang Records on October 26, 2018.

Corrina Repp

On her fifth full-length LP, How A Fantasy Will Kill Us All, songwriter Corrina Repp charts a path through the unknown. Fueled by a desire to start over and make a clean break with Portland, where she’d lived for 21 years, and where she released a string of albums on HUSH and Mark Kozelek’s Caldo Verde label, played with her band Tu Fawning (City Slang), and appeared semi-regularly on the parody comedy series Portlandia, Repp headed across the country. The promise of a new relationship was waiting for her, but it wasn’t to be. Turning away from the failed relationship after three weeks, Repp made survival a full-time occupation. Stowing her possessions in a storage unit in Woodland Hills, California, and leaving with no real plan, Repp embarked on a nomadic journey that would shade her music for years to come.

The songs on the new record came together over two fitful, unrooted years that found her working at the Sou’Wester motor lodge on the coast of Washington, staying at the Saint-Erme-Outre-et-Ramecourt convent in Northern France where she dedicated herself to playing music, writing songs in a sublet in Los Angeles, and finally, in Louisville, Kentucky, where she holed up with Danny Seim of Menomena to record How A Fantasy Will Kill Us All. Recording during the day and retiring to a small, cold room each night with Phil, a stray cat and bad TV box sets to keep her company, Repp found herself drawn to freedom in ways she’d never experienced it. She made friends with Richard Sullivan, an ex-ball player turned painter. She went to parties and art galleries. She spent large swaths of time by herself.

These experiences blurred into her art. Built on foundational loops and drones, Repp’s songs mingle solid, folk-tinged melodies with distortion, kaleidoscopic pop, and disjointed, cobbled together beats. She buries her resonant anthems under hiss (“Nothing Is On,” “Look For Paradise”), navigates uncertainty with eerie confidence (“Need You / Don’t Need You,” “Lightest Light”) and makes her proclamations of independence sound like faithful hymns (“I’ll Take The Storm”). Sometimes she sounds like a gospel singer, sometimes she sounds like a slightly malfunctioning tape deck, but always, she sounds free.

“Maybe you found it/We’ll just see what happens/see what happens,” she sings over chorded guitar and piano on the album’s title song. The record lives in that sense of maybe, and takes comfort in what happens when illusions and fantasies are replaced with real confounding experiences. The record is a time capsule, Repp writes in her evocative, travelogue-inspired liner notes, “About how having expectations could lead to one bloody, yet delicious downfall.” But the record doesn’t represent what happens when it all falls apart: it’s about finding out who you are without anything unnecessary. Only the essential and elemental, the things needed when the unknown beckons.

Melaena Cadiz

“A voice that grabs you within seconds." - NPR
“Her Karen Dalton-meets-Joanna Newsom voice has an enchanted echo you wish would never end." - The FADER
For more than a few years now, singer-songwriter Melaena Cadiz has been making a beautiful, dreamy brand of down-home folk. Her last two albums leaned bluegrass with twangy guitars and banjo, intricate, organic percussion, and soothing strings while her voice exquisitely cleared a path through the enveloping sounds. Her new album, Sunfair, is a departure, with Cadiz trying to anchor newfound stability amid many moving parts. She made an escape from NYC to California, specifically the vast, arid desert terrain of Joshua Tree. The soundscape of Sunfair mirrors that landscape. The sound is stripped, raw, sparse, and beautifully barren, hearkening to a newly unearthed inward solace.

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